Athenian white ground lekythos depicting Charon receiving a warrior



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A painted pottery white ground lekythos with a black glazed foot and neck. Although the surface is much worn, the distinctive figure of Charon, the ferry-man to the Underworld over the river Styx, can be seen standing on the prow of his boat. Charon’s hand is extended to receive a standing youth who offers him a warrior’s crested helmet in return for his safe passage to Hades.

White ground lekythoi were produced exclusively as funerary offerings and this finely painted example was presumably dedicated to a fallen warrior.

Greek, Athens, end of 5th Century BC

24.3 x 7.4 cms

Neck and handle repaired, chipping as well as extensive wear to the white ground painted decoration

Ex. private collection, Roubaix, France; inherited from a collection formed in the 19th or early 20th Century